The Ember Island Players are an ensemble of actors performing at the theatre on Ember Island, the vacation home of the Fire Nation nobility. They are underpaid hams who dazzle the audiences with impressive special effects and wild costumes. Two of their plays are known: Love Amongst the Dragons and The Boy in the Iceberg. Ursa, a former member of the Hira'a Acting Troupe, used to take Zuko and Azula to Love Amongst the Dragons, but Zuko thinks the Players "butchered" it.Team Avatar went to see The Boy in the Iceberg in the episode "The Ember Island Players" and considered it absolutely horrible, despite the special effects. The Boy in the Iceberg, named for the first episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, is a highly dramatised, propagandistic, exaggerated tale of the adventures of Aang and his silly friends, who are eventually defeated by Fire Lord Ozai. The play is also commentary on Fandom. Here, then, are the Ember Island Players. Hold your applause until the end.
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- "I'm the Avatar, silly, here to spread joy and fun!"
Voiced by: Rachel DratchPlayer Aang is an athletic young woman wearing a bald cap. She plays Aang as hyperactive and excessively outgoing, with a penchant for playing pranks on people. Player Aang's mission as the Avatar is to bring "joy and fun" to the World. Player Aang triggers the Avatar State by saying "Avatar State, yip-yip!" Real Aang is dismayed to see that Player Aang is a woman. He is even more dismayed when Player Ozai kills Player Aang at the end.
- Affably Evil: He's seen as "evil" by the Fire Nation audience, but also funny and lovable.
- Affectionate Parody: Of the Broadway adaptation of Peter Pan, right down to using a female actress to play a young male and using wires to simulate flying. Even the way she talks sounds like Mary Martin playing Peter.
- Bald Woman: Subverted. Player Aang's scalp is a different colour from the rest of her skin, so she is most likely wearing a bald cap, and though a recently-shaved head would also be a different color from the rest of the head hers appears darker rather than paler.
- Big "NO!"/Slow No: A good eight seconds long.
- Catch Phrase: "Avatar State, yip-yip!"
- Character Exaggeration: Of Aang's Keet and Prankster tendencies.
- Crosscast Role: Much to Aang's frustration.
- Dawson Casting: Player Aang looks to be ten years older than Kid Hero Aang — deliberately done In-Universe.
- Death by Adaptation: Considering it was written by and for the Fire Nation, yeah not surprising they would kill the hero off.
- Genki Girl: Playing a Keet.
- The Hero Dies: Unsurprisingly, given that the play is Fire Nation propaganda, The Bad Guy Wins and succeeds in taking down the Avatar.
- Like Brother and Sister: With Player Katara.
- Not Quite Flight: To fly, Player Aang is hoisted up by a crane, the typical practice for a flying god since the days of ancient Greek theatre.
- The Prankster: She even lampshades it: "Have I mentioned that I'm an incurable prankster?''. Much to the real Aang's dismay
- Suppressed Mammaries: Averted. No action was taken to hide her breasts, and they're pretty obvious.
- Take That: Konietzko and DiMartino's criticism of the practice of women voicing boys in Peter Pan, The Simpsons, and other productions.
- Villain Protagonist: Because the play is told from a perspective sympathetic to the Fire Nation, the character of Aang is seen as the bad guy — the embodiment of feckless immaturity, ruining all the Fire Nation's plans.
- "My heart is so full of hope, that it's making me tearbend!"
Voiced by: Grey DeLislePlayer Katara is older and fatter than Real Katara, and not as beautiful. She speaks in a much huskier voice than the real Katara. Player Katara is melodramatic, prone to crying on any occasion, obsessed with hope, and does not fight. She wears her heart on her sleeve, especially in front of Player Aang. Player Katara is in love with Player Zuko, and regards Player Aang as her little brother.
- Adaptational Villainy: Has absolutely no objection to Jet destroying an entire town. The very thing that caused the real Katara to turn on him.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: "Oh Jet, you're so...bad...."
- Calling Your Attacks: "Waterbend! Hi-yah!"
- Casting Gag: Grey DeLisle is also the voice of Azula.
- Character Exaggeration: What little bit of Katara's personality the play gets right, it exaggerates beyond belief.
- Chickification: Player Katara is a melodramatic crybaby who only waterbends once in the play (to free Player Aang).
- Dawson Casting: She's never going to see fourteen again, that's for certain. This is deliberate In-Universe.
- Exposed to the Elements: Done for Fanservice purposes. She's wearing a low-cut dress at the south pole.
- Faux Action Girl: She is never seen fighting, despite the fact that she's supposed to be the Action Girl Katara.
- Foe Romance Subtext: With Player Zuko.
- Foot Popping: As she and Jet kiss.
- Hotter and Sexier: Sort of. She's not as beautiful as the real Katara, but she is much more sexualized, having a more adult figure than Katara, and showing cleavage and her leg, as well as acting in a more sexualized manner (sultry expressions, sexy poses, so on).
- Like Brother and Sister: With Player Aang. And she keeps on saying it, for good measure."Katara": Remember, Aang, I'll always love you - as a brother!"Aang": I wouldn't want it any other way.
- Making a Splash: She uses Waterbending to free Aang from the iceberg, although she never uses it again after that.
- Melodrama: The living incarnation of it, right from the word "go".
- Overly Long Gag: She cries dramatically in just about every sequence in the first act.
- Show Some Leg: The real Katara wears trousers under her dress.
- Team Mom: Just like the real deal.
- Tender Tears: Extremely prone to this, to the point where it becomes comedic.
- "All I want is a full feeling in my stomach! I'm starving!"
Voiced by: Scott MenvillePlayer Sokka is much older than Real Sokka, with buck teeth. He's a backwoods, dumb-muscle, Water Tribe hick, and the comic relief. Player Sokka is constantly hungry, and obsessed with eating meat. But the actor for Player Sokka is a pretty chill guy — when Sokka approaches him backstage with some ideas for new jokes, the actor gladly incorporates them into the scene, despite initial misgivings — ("Oh, boy, another fan with "Ideas"") and to the delight of the audience.
- Big Eater: He's always hungry and wanting to eat.
- Catch Phrase: "I'm starving!" He says it twice in the first 30 seconds of the play.
- Character Exaggeration: Of Sokka's tendency to focus on food and his Comic Relief status.
- Dawson Casting: He's got the gangly limbs down pat, but otherwise, isn't a teenager. This is intentional.
- Exposed to the Elements: Wearing that outfit in the South Pole is just begging for hypothermia.
- The Fool: Player Sokka has none of Sokka's The Smart Guy tendencies.
- Obsessed with Food:Player Sokka: Don't go, Yue! You're the only woman who's ever taken my mind off of food!
- Plucky Comic Relief: He's every bit the Butt Monkey that Sokka is in real life, much to his displeasure.
- Real Men Eat Meat: He's quite frankly obsessed with it.
- Throw It In: In-Universe. He uses Sokka's suggestions of making up catch-phrases and throwing in jokes for the third act.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: When Player Suki teaches him the way of the Kyoshi Warriors, she makes him wear the dress and makeup. Player Sokka asks "Does this make my butt look fat?" The real Suki thinks it's Actually Pretty Funny.
- "My name's Toph, because that sounds like Tough and that's just what I am!"
Voiced by: John DiMaggioPlayer Toph is a big, burly man who is blind, but can "see" using echolocation, emitting a loud scream. Real Toph likes Player Toph, saying "I wouldn't have cast it any other way."
- The Big Guy: Except that unlike the real Toph, he is literally the big guy of the group.
- Blinding Bangs: Player Toph wears the real Toph's fringe.
- Character Exaggeration: Of Toph's Boisterous Bruiser and The Big Guy traits.
- Crosscast Role: Just like Player Aang.
- Dawson Casting: This guy definitely ain't twelve.
- Development Gag: Player Toph is based on an early design for Toph as a man, which was later reused as Avatar Roku's Earthbending master Sud.
- Disability Superpower: Player Toph, much like the real Toph, is blind, but is able to "see"...although they got the particulars wrong...
- Make Me Wanna Shout:Player Toph: I don't "see" like you do — I release a sonic wave from my mouth, like this: [Releases an ear-curdling scream] There! I just got a pretty good look at you!
- Other Me Annoys Me: Inverted, Toph is the only one who actually likes her interpretation.
- "I don't have time to stuff my face! I must capture the Avatar to regain my honor!"
Voiced by: Derek BascoPlayer Zuko is more accurate than other Players, but Real Zuko considers Player Zuko too stiff and dour, and Player Zuko's scar is on the wrong side. Player Zuko is even more obsessed than the real Zuko with honor and capturing the Avatar, and shouts "honor!" more than he says anything else. He flirts with Player Katara. In Act III, he is killed by Player Azula for his betrayal of the Fire Nation.
- Big Stupid Doodoo Head: During his Ignored Epiphany near the end of Act II, he tells Player Iroh that he smells.
- Casting Gag/Actor Allusion: Derek Basco is the brother of Zuko's VA Dante Basco.
- Character Exaggeration: The real Zuko is understandably hell-bent on getting his honor back, but Player Zuko is outright obsessed by it.
- Composite Character: He takes on elements of Zhao's season 1 role, such as capturing Aang.
- Decomposite Character: He and the Blue Spirit are separate characters in the play.
- '80s Hair: Has ridiculously overgrown hair in the second act.
- Emo Teen: Big Time.
- Famous Last Words: HONOR!
- Face–Heel Turn: His defection to the Avatar's side would be seen as this to the Fire Nation.
- Felony Misdemeanor: Player Zuko leaves Iroh because Iroh demanded that he gets a haircut.
- Foe Romance Subtext: With Player Katara, probably to make him look even more unreliable and depraved In-Universe (where the Water Tribe is seen as backwards barbarians.)
- Honor Before ReasonAzula: Look, there's your honor.Zuko: WHERE?!
- Playing with Fire: He can do this. It's represented by ribbons.
- Straight Man: About the only character in the play who doesn't make jokes.
- Your Costume Needs Work: Most notably his scar.
- "Choose treachery! It's more fun!"
Voiced by: John DiMaggioPlayer Iroh is Player Zuko's doddering glutton of an uncle. He is obsessed with cake instead of tea, and is trying and failing to give Player Zuko cake. Player Iroh is betrayed and defeated by Player Zuko, which is uncomfortably close to the truth for Zuko.
- Adaptational Villainy: The play is Fire Nation propaganda after all. Naturally, Iroh's not going to be played in a positive light.
- Big Eater: Unlike the real Iroh, who loves tea, Player Iroh loves cake instead.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Just look at them. They're probably fake, but still.
- Character Exaggeration: The real Iroh didn't really care about the Avatar hunt and liked the material pleasures in life, but he was willing to help his nephew in his quest. This Iroh actively encourages Zuko to forget about the Avatar so they can get massages. The play also drops the reason why Iroh was uninterested in capturing the Avatar (he'd had a Heel–Face Turn years ago).
- Evil Uncle: To Zuko, although he's more amoral and hedonistic than outright evil. This contrasts the real Iroh, who was one of the only good members of the Royal Family, and was a Parental Substitute for Zuko.
- Fat Bastard: He's even more rotund than the real Iroh and has none of Iroh's redeeming qualities.
- The Hedonist: Player Iroh lacks the spirituality of the real Iroh. His second line a suggestion that he and Zuko get massages. The Fire Nation, we've seen, is against individual pleasure and expression, so exaggerating this aspect of Iroh to make him look ridiculous makes perfect sense.
- Playing Gertrude: Unlike almost everyone else in the cast, Player Iroh probably isn't even half of the real Iroh's age. (In fact, he looks like he could be younger than Player Zuko.)
- Ron the Death Eater: In-Universe. This Iroh has none of the real Iroh's kindness.
- Strawman Political: Likely intended to be this In-Universe, given how he tries to get Zuko to abandon the Fire Nation, his lack of good arguments for doing so, and the very bad light he's portrayed in.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: He's never seen after Zuko betrays him and pushes him over.
- "The Avatar is no more!"
Voiced by: Tara StrongPlayer Azula is older than Real Azula, with a huskier voice, and wears pink, along with thick makeup and long painted nails. Player Azula electrocutes Player Aang at the end of Act II, then kills Player Zuko in Act III.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: She has black hair, as opposed to the real Azula's dark brown.
- Adaptational Heroism: The play is Fire Nation propaganda, so of course it presents Azula in a better light than the show does.
- Badass Princess: Like the real Azula.
- Combat Stilettos: As opposed to her real counterpart, who constantly wears sensible flat-soled boots.
- Daddy's Little Villain: Just like the real deal, although she's supposed to be Daddy's Little Heroine.
- Dawson Casting: She definitely isn't fourteen.
- Draco in Leather Pants: In-Universe. Even outside of the play's status as propaganda, she seems to lack most of Azula's psychopathic tendencies, for example not shooting Iroh during the re-enactment of "The Chase".
- She's also way more mentally stable than the real Azula. She keeps it together during the play's finale, as opposed to the real deal, who was in the middle of a spectacular Villainous Breakdown at that point.
- Femme Fatalons: Her very long painted nails.
- Hero Antagonist: As the character who's most prominent at hounding the Avatar and foiling his plans, Player Azula would be seen as this by the Fire Nation audience.
- Hero Killer: Unlike the real Azula, she actually kills Player Zuko.
- Playing with Fire: Like the real Azula, she's a firebender. She uses this to kill Player Zuko.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: Unlike the real Azula, who wears the standard fire nation colors of red, black, and gold.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: "Hey, look, Zuko! It's your honor!"
- The Bad Guy Wins: Unlike the real Azula, she kills Player Zuko.
- "No! It is you who are going down! You see, you are too late! The comet is already here, and I'm unstoppable!"
- Beard of Evil: Beard of Good, as far as the play's concerned.
- Beauty Inversion: He actually looks far more like a stereotypical evil overlord than the real Ozai does, even though he's meant to be the good guy.
- Big Good: His taking over the world is portrayed as a good thing.
- Cool Crown: Wears a rather exaggerated version of the real Fire Nation crown.
- Large Ham: Out-hams everybody in the play- it's Olmec, what would you expect?
- Hero Killer: He takes down Player Aang.
- Kill It with Fire: First Player Aang, then everything else.
- No, You: "No, it is YOU who are going down!"
- Playing with Fire: Like the real Ozai, he can firebend. Unlike the real Ozai, he uses his comet-enhanced bending to kill Player Aang.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: He defeats the evil Avatar and succeeds in taking over the world.
- Supporting Leader: He's the Fire Lord, but he only appears in the play's last scene, with his daughter Azula being active in the hunt for the Avatar.
- The Bad Guy Wins: The play being Fire Nation propaganda, this was inevitable.
- Take Over the World: His goal. And unlike the real Ozai, he succeeds.
Player Mai looks similar to real Mai, albeit with a few differences. Her belt has a sad face on it, her fringe covers her eyes, and she keeps her knives in her "ox horn" hair.
- Action Girl: She's a knife master and one of Azula's elite henchmen.
- Beauty Inversion: The real Mai is quite beautiful, even cute, in her own way. Player Mai, not so much.
- Blinding Bangs: Her fringe actually covers her eyes.
- Emotionless Girl: Just like the real Mai, although Player Mai never gets any of Mai's Not So Stoic moments.
- Knife Nut: Again, much like the real Mai.
- Odango Hair: Her hairstyle exaggerates the real Mai's Odango Hair, making it look more like Mickey Mouse ears than anything.
- Special Effects Failure: In-Universe, she doesn't actually throw her knives. Instead, a stagehand carries them to their target.
- The Stoic: Never says anything or shows emotion.
Player Ty Lee
Player Ty Lee is a pudgy ballerina. Instead of doing acrobatic stunts, she dances sedately across the stage. Instead of chi-blocking by poking people, she kisses them.
- Action Girl: She's one of Azula's elite henchmen, and is shown defeating a soldier in one hit with her Kiss of Death.
- Beauty Inversion: Much like Player Mai, Player Ty Lee is far less attractive than the real deal.
- Bare Your Midriff: But she can't pull it off quite like the real Ty Lee.
- Dance Battler: She's a dancer who can paralyze people with kisses.
- Flynning: Her action scenes bear little to no resemblance to actual fights.
- Kiss of Death: Unlike the real Ty Lee, she paralyzes her opponents by kissing them.
- The Paralyzer: Except with kisses instead of jabs.
Player Suki looks very close to the real Suki, but her headdress and fans are exaggerated. She has no lines. In Act I, she trains Player Sokka in the ways of the Kyoshi Warriors.
- Action Girl: Teaches Sokka how to be a Kyoshi warrior.
- Amazon Brigade: The Kyoshi warriors are all female.
- Battle Ballgown: Her uniform.
- Cool Mask: Her kabuki makeup.
- Paper Fan of Doom: Much like the real deal's.
- "Riddles and challenges must you face, if you are ever to leave this place."
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Just like the real Bumi.
- Nice Hat: His feather hat.
- Playing Gertrude: Definitely younger than the real Bumi.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Oddly enough, as the real Bumi never does so.
The Blue Spirit
- "I am the Blue Spirit, the scourge of the Fire Nation, here to save the Avatar!"
- Badass Normal: Like the real Blue Spirit, he doesn't firebend. He still manages to beat Zuko.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Introduces himself as "the scourge of the Fire Nation", making him this In-Universe, as the play is Fire Nation propaganda.
- Cool Mask: The oni mask the real Blue Spirit wore is exaggerated to the point of being as big as the rest of his body.
- Decomposite Character: The real Blue Spirit was Zuko's alter ego. This Blue Spirit has no relation to Zuko, and indeed fights him at one point.
- Deus ex Machina: Appears out of nowhere to save the avatar, and then is never mentioned again. This is probably how the Fire Nation viewed the real Blue Spirit, given that they don't know that he's actually Zuko in a mask.
- Dual Wielding: Like the real deal, he uses dual swords.
- Large Ham: Like everyone else in the play. It's notable because the real Blue Spirit never spoke, as his voice would have given him away.
Voiced by: Jennie KwanPlayer Yue appears at the end of Act I. She wears a pink dress with many bows, and her hair is a braid attached to her hair loops. When she sacrifices herself to become the Moon Spirit, she is hoisted up on a moon prop, while Player Sokka grieves below.
"Goodbye, Sokka! I have important moon duties to take care of! And yes, I did have pickled fish."
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Her "moon duties."
- Color-Coded Patrician: She wears pink, instead of the normal Water Tribe blue.
- Exposed to the Elements: That dress is really not suited for the North Pole.
- Famous Last Words: "And yes, I did have pickled fish...."
- Heroic Sacrifice: If the play makes any claim toward accuracy at that point.
- The Lost Lenore: For Sokka.
- Lunacy: Ends up leaving the world because of her "important moon duties".
- Pimped-Out Dress: Wears a very pretty (and very long) pink dress.
- Princesses Prefer Pink: As opposed to the real Yue's purple Winter Royal Lady wardrobe.
- (Normal)"Don't cry, baby! Jet will wipe out that nasty town for you!"(Brainwashed)"Must...serve...Earth King! Must...destroy![starts babbling]"
- Anime Hair: His hair, being an exaggeration of the real Jet's Wild Hair. It's long, spiky, and sticks up on its ends.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Player Katara certainly does.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Like the real Jet, except it makes him look far goofier.
- Character Exaggeration: Like everyone else in the play.
- Dawson Casting: In-universe. In the finest tradition of Dawson's Creek, he plays a brooding teenager but has got at least ten more years on him.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Just sort of... falls over. Then a "rock" falls on him. Lampshaded, even the Gaang aren't certain what just happened.Zuko: Did Jet just... die?Sokka: You know, it was really unclear.
- Dual Wielding: His hooks.
- Hook Hand: To simulate the real deal's hook swords.
- Improbable Weapon User: He Dual Wields hook hands.
- Mind-Control Eyes: He has googly eyes to show that he is brainwashed.
- Rebel Leader: Except that the Freedom Fighters don't appear in the play, or at least weren't shown.
- Special Effects Failure: In-Universe, his death scene. He falls to the floor and writhes around babbling for a bit before a stagehand drops a rock prop on him. Except it doesn't entirely cover him, and he has to pull his legs under it.
- Third-Person Person: When he's not brainwashed.
- Wild Hair: It's very spiky and unkept.